With two matches to play England have renewed hope of an improbable ODI series victory in Sri Lanka’s back yard and the impetus James Taylor has injected with the bat has been instrumental.
A spirited performance which included an unbeaten century from Joe Root and a 68 from Taylor saw Alastair Cook’s men over the line in Pallekele, pegging their hosts back to 3-2 ahead of the sixth one-day match at the same venue.
Thanks to that rousing five-wicket triumph there is now genuine belief that the tourists can come from behind to claim the series, available at juicy odds of 4/1 with Ladbrokes.
Two wins are obviously the order of the day for England to realise this dream and that’s exactly where we start with our three best bets for the sixth ODI.
England to win @ 11/8
The future is particularly bright where England’s batting line up is concerned with Taylor’s introduction helping to produce the perfect blend of youthful exuberance and experience during an impressive win last time.
The supporting role played by Ravi Bopara cannot be underestimated in chasing down an ominous total with a measure of control and England can now use it as a blueprint for a series-levelling victory.
Chris Woakes’ six-wicket haul showed more encouraging signs that he is the man to rattle Sri Lanka cages in this series too.
James Taylor to score a 50: Yes @ 2/1
The pint-sized Nottinghamshire batsman has swatted his merry way straight into England’s World Cup side with scores of 90 on debut, followed up by a 68 in Pallekele.
England’s selectors have hit the jackpot since his insertion at number three in Colombo and in this kind of nick, on the same track, he looks a cracking price to add another 50 to his growing tally.
Tillakaratne Dilshan to score a 50 @ 7/4
Sri Lanka’s former captain hasn’t quite hit the heights since his opening knock of 88 in this series, but there were signs he was coming back into form with his contribution of 35 last time.
If he is going to get another half-century in the series this looks his track too, as Dilshan averages just shy of 90 at Pallekele from 12 previous innings, making him the highest ODI runscorer at the ground.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £25 in free bets.